A Republican running for the Maine state legislature is dropping out of the race following criticism for calling one of the survivors of last month’s mass shooting at a Florida high school a “skinhead lesbian.”
Leslie Gibson announced on Friday that he was ending his campaign for the Maine House of Representatives, the Portland Press Herald reported.
The former candidate said he made the decision after talking it over with friends and family, calling it “the best thing for everybody.”
“I am not walking away with my head hung low. I am walking away with my head held high,” Gibson said, according to the Press Herald.
The Maine resident had come under fire for his comments about survivors of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting.
“There is nothing about this skinhead lesbian that impresses me and there is nothing that she has to say unless you’re a frothing at the mouth moonbat,” Gibson tweeted in response to a report about Parkland student Emma Gonzalez.
Gonzalez, a high schooler who identifies as bisexual, has become a vocal advocate for gun control in the weeks since the shooting.
Gibson had also criticized another Parkland student and pro-gun control activist, David Hogg, calling him "a baldfaced liar.”
Gibson was initially running unopposed in the Maine state House race. However, Democrat Eryn Gilchrist entered the race after Gibson’s comments emerged. Hogg had called for candidates to oppose Gibson.
Gilchrist said she was running because she was "horrified and embarrassed" by the thought of Gibson winning the race, The Sun Journal reported.